When you’re new to hiring freelance writers from Content Runner, knowing how much to pay can be tricky. You don’t want to pay so little that you receive poor quality in return. Another risk of underpaying is that good writers will abandon your work for better-paying assignments when the opportunities present themselves. On the other hand, you have a budget to maintain and you can’t afford to spend all of it on content. It might sound like a catch-22 situation, but this is a solvable dilemma.

Content Runner Stays Out of Price Negotiations

If you decide to establish direct order relationships with writers, we leave it entirely up to you and them to work out a price. You can pay hourly, per article, per week, when a large group of assignments is complete, or any other number of creative solutions.

In the first two parts of this series, we looked at the advantages of using freelance writers vs. an in-house team and how to choose the best writers for your content. These posts were based on information published by Benji Hyam of Grow & Convert. For the third and final post in this series, we’re going to consider what he has to say about writer payment.

Why an Hourly Rate Usually Doesn’t Work

Hyam is not a fan of the hourly rate model because he feels that it doesn’t provide an incentive to writers to submit a concise and timely project. Like people in many other types of professions, writers often underestimate how long it will take them to finish a job. This is often due to not understanding how much research is involved or failing to budget time for revisions. As a result, you may end up spending more that you budgeted and still not feel satisfied with the completed work.

Pay So Writers Feel Motivated and Appreciated

The best way to know how much to pay a writer is to simply ask his or her going rate or read the writer profile. Content Runner gives writers the option of selecting a range per word, such as under three cents, three to five cents, six to eight cents, and all the way up to over 16 cents. You can even search our writer directory by suggested payment. Assuming that your writer charges six to eight cents a word and your article is 400 to 500 words, the going rate for the article would be around $30. Our commission is included in this figure.

If you have a per-article amount in mind, you can ask the writer if he or she is willing to work for that amount. This gives both of you some negotiating power if the answer is no. Some writers are willing to start at lower than they would like if it gives them a chance to prove themselves. That means if the first few assignments go well, you should expect to pay a bit more for subsequent ones. This is a strategy that Hyam uses and recommends as well. Good communication skills from the beginning of the working relationship prevents misunderstandings and potentially hard feelings on both ends.

Another idea is to pay a base rate for the assignment and then add a bonus if you feel that it’s written especially well. This motivates writers to do their absolute best work.

We Offer Built-In Raises That Don’t Cost You a Thing

Content Runner is unique among writing marketplaces in that we only take a starting commission of 15 percent for each assignment the client accepts. The longer a writer works with a specific client, the less commission we take. Our fee schedule goes all the way down to seven percent, but you never pay a penny more. We have found that this is great motivation for writers to build relationships with clients and deliver work that exceeds client expectations.

No one especially likes to negotiate price, but it’s one of those things that must be done. Think of it this way: once you find a few writers you like, you may never have to do it again.